Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advice on how to help my boyfriend enjoy our sex life more

My boyfriend has schizophrenia and his medications make it hard for him to finish when we have sex. He says he doesn’t mind and that it feels good and he enjoys it but I want to be able to make him feels as good as he makes me feel. I know it bothers him when he can’t finish and it bothers me. He says not to blame myself and I tell him the same thing I just want to be able to do more. He wants to talk to his therapist about adding a med that could help, but I don’t want him to have to add more if l can try to do something different instead.


This is just my opinion for what it’s worth. Love is much more than the mechanics of the act. Fine tuning your approach and finish such as it is can take time when someone has schizophrenia and is contending with medications and their side effects. It sounds like you and your boyfriend have very good communication and that is half the battle. I would trust what your boyfriend says to you and not press him to have to add meds or anything but do encourage him to ask the doctor about this issue and see if it is due to a side effect of his meds and maybe he could tell the doctor that he isn’t really wanting to add more meds if that can be helped or is there is anything else that can be done instead of adding meds. In the meantime it seems you have a loving relationship and the intricacies of how you express your love is not so important as just continuing to express it as well as you can and accept each other for just how you are right now. Expectations can add pressure which is stressful for anyone. Time and patience added to your love can take you both very far. Best wishes to you and your boyfriend. :heart:

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I agree with your opinion I love things as they are I just don’t like how disappointed he is with himself when he can’t finish. I support him talking to his doctor about what could be done to help it, but I don’t want him to have to take another med that could mess with everything I don’t want him to do that if he doesn’t have to.

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I think you are on the right track, but I’ll add a few things for other couples with this problem and point out some pitfalls.

At all costs avoid incentives for a partner to discontinue medication to improve satisfaction in the relationship. It’s especially important in the beginning of a relationship or psychopharmacological therapy. There’s a tendency toward “magical thinking” or superstition in people with MI. “If I were just in a relationship or had someone to love, or whatever, everything would be alright.” So they discontinue or change their meds. It can be especially difficult if your partner thinks they can change or “fix” you. Love and sex can be healing, but it’s not going to “cure” any illnesses, and you need to be very clear and blunt about that with your partner. Through experience, I’m now more vigilant during budding relationships, and may even increase my medications to avoid mood swings or relapses if a relationship succeeds or fails.

From my experience, communication is key. Take your partner at his word that he doesn’t mind. But this doesn’t mean you can’t mutually try to improve matters. Some suggestions: It sounds paradoxical, but I found being able to simultaneously concentrate and relax conducive to “finishing”. It can be physically exhausting to sustain activity when things take a long time, so exertion should be shared or other less demanding alternatives explored. Consider non-traditional measurements of “success” or “finishing”.

If he can’t finish be happy for the time you spend together. Don’t add any pressure to finish, if it’s not going to work it’s not going to work. Your happiness is his happiness too.

Hey, you’re not alone! My husband and I were experiencing the same problems. I can offer the following advice, which you are welcome to take or leave:

First, trust your boyfriend when he says he’s enjoying himself. I personally feel that culturally (in the U.S. anyway) we put wayyyy too much emphasis on climax. An orgasm doesn’t magically legitimize sex. As long as both people are enjoying themselves, satisfaction doesn’t have to equal climax. This might be a secret opportunity to explore sex that isn’t “goal oriented.” More pragmatically, try to avoid focusing on the issue just because you both might start to get so fearful that “it wont work” that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (speaking from my own experience there…ugh!)

Next, for my husband at least, the issue was not permanent. We had a reeeeeeally rough year after he started his medication. It was about 6 months with NO sexual contact whatsoever, and then maybe 3 or 4 times after that. And then, it was literally like a switch flipped. He just clicked back on one day. We spoke with his doctor, and she indicated that it wasn’t unusual, especially for young adults. Our bodies are weird packages of hormones and chemicals, and when you throw in mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and other fun stuff, it’s a mess. But a resilient mess. So stick with it.

Third, Even though the medicine cock-block is LESS of an issue for us now, it still happens. Sometimes, we still have off days where, no matter what we do, he just can’t get there. But we’ve reached a point where we try to laugh about it and he will “take a raincheck” and we try again later. We’ve definitely had to adapt the way we engage each other sexually. We’ve noticed that he has a better success rate if there’s a build up-- spontaneous sex is fun, but not usually “successful” if you’re going for an orgasm. It’s easier if we can start early in the day- maybe mention that you’d like to try something sexy later on, flirt through out the day, try “making out” for a while and building from there.